HOW TO CHOOSE A PROJECT MANAGER…
People often ask me ‘how can I be sure a project manager will be good?”
Firstly I say there is no surety, we are dealing with people. What I can tell you is how to get the very best chance that the project manager you choose will be successful.
Then I explain that project management is not an IT skill, it’s not a ‘skill’ that can be learnt, examined and certified in the way people become certified in other technical domains within IT.
Project management is about getting people to do the things you need done in order to get the outcome you want.
So the first thing you need to do is decide what you want done.
- Administration, scheduling, tracking
- Driving specific technical outcomes
- Are the outcomes mission critical?
- Do they have to manage across disciplines?
- Who will they report to and what role does that person play?
While titles don’t matter too much, the description of the types of projects and what is required are critically important when choosing.
Then talk to specialist project management providers. Whether you use a recruiter or recruit yourself – talk to someone who knows the market and project management. When boards are looking for senior executives, there is a reason they use specialist executive recruiters. If your projects will or do have the ability to impact your success then it is a critical appointment.
Project managers are as varied as the projects they manage. A person perfectly equipped to deliver one project might be hopelessly ill-equipped to manage another. This is not about technical ability but about breadth of management ability and experience within the sphere of project management.
Some questions to ask;
- How do you define success?
- How do you value a project?
- What do you do if a project looks like slipping?